How to define your brand in 15 mins or less, with only 5 prompts.

Your brand is the soul of your enterprise. As a business owner, or a freelancer, or an entrepreneur, or an artist, your brand is the inspiring force behind all that you do.

It is also the packaging, the persona, the vibe that you give off. It is that je ne sais quoi that permeates the entire experience of doing business with you. It is something that exists whether you are mindful of it at all.

But if you can be aware of it, in fact, deliberately curate and create it so that it resonates with your customers, your audience, your tribe, you will be very successful, and more so, you will be defensible.

And that is the promise of a brand, that you become so compelling that your dream customers are excited to work with you, seeking you out, and when you deliver, they absolutely love you and brag to others about you.

It is the kind clout that money can’t buy.

But you can try, by enlisting the services of a brand professional to help you dig down to the core truth of your enterprise and craft that into a engaging brand.

What if you could do it in 15 minutes? by yourself, with these 5 prompts.

You will be no Ogilvy or Neumeier, but you will be well on your way to differentiate and delight your customers in a fresh way.

Brand at its core comes down to understanding what you do, who you do it for, why you do it, and why they should care. Once you know that, you can build your brand around that insight.

Let’s go through 5 prompts to help you unearth the core of your brand.

1. What do you do?

So simple right? What is it that you do? Simply describe the primary business of your enterprise. For example, you could be a professional cook delivering home cooked meals to clients.

2. Who do you do it for?

This is the other side of the coin, every brand has an audience, every business has a customer or an end user. This is who you do it for. Understanding your client/customer/audience is important, so you can build that relationship, anticipating and serving their needs better as well as tailoring your message to them.

For example, as a cook, you could focus on young busy professionals as your target market. They usually have some disposal income, but are too busy to make sure they eat properly and probably also don’t want to eat out all the time. You can study them to know their needs, and aspirations. Perhaps they have a deep desire to eat clean to stay healthy and keep up with their demanding careers while looking good. You can tailor your marketing as super convenient, delicious and healthy meals that they would love, and if you deliver on that promise, you have a happy market on your hands.

3. Why do you do it?

This is the core of the brand, the energising force. The ‘why’ is the reason your enterprise exists, it could be birth from your story, from your origins, it could be born of a burning passion or desire for something, or to see the world in a certain why. It is why you are in the game and it won’t change over time. You may pivot the business, launch new products, enter new markets but your “why” would more or less remain the same.

As our cook, your why could be as a result of a childhood spent in your mother’s kitchen making delicioys meals for the family. Maybe you love to cook as a means of personal expression or showing you care. Perhaps this is a love you want to share with the world, especially those who may be too busy to create it for themselves. Your why could be summarised as ‘sharing the delight of a good home cooked meal for those too busy for it’. You could change your business model to recording recipes online and it would still be connected to your why.

4. Why you? Why should they care?

Why should your customer pick you out of all the various options they have of getting their needs met? What is special about you?

Maybe it is your passion and singular focus on perfecting your craft of cooking delicious meals. Or perhaps, it is convenience, you going the extra mile to make sure that your food is delivered to their door step. It could be that your food really has that authentic fresh home cooked vibe and taste to it. Maybe you only source environmentally friendly and organic ingredients so your customers know they are doing their part for our planet and future as they patronise you.

Whatever it is, you should be aware of it and be able to communicate it.

5. Where will you take them?

The best brands don’t just position themselves for today, they also look to the future. Get clear on your goals and what you want to build or achieve in your enterprise today, but also look around at the market around you, at the prevailing philosophies, at the changing culture and needs around you. Where will you take your customers? How will your services evolve to meet their changing needs? What disruptions are you going to take advantage of?

You could as a cook make a commitment to sustainable practices, sourcing green and organic ingredients since people are becoming more and more conscious of what they consume. Or you could evolve into a new kind of restaurant or an online platform connecting home cooks to hungry mouths in their local areas fostering community ties. Perhaps for you the process of eating is not just about fulfilling individual need but about bringing people together. Maybe it is time for a culinary revolution, and you are the one to lead it.

With these 5 prompts you will have the broad strokes of your brand. And when you put it all together, you have the answer. You are able to clearly communicate what you do, why you do it, who you do it for, and why they should care.

You are a chef providing convenient and delicious healthy meals to busy predominantly young professionals in the main metropolitan area of your city. Nothing makes you happier than feeding others, your childhood experiences of cooking for the family with your mother has instilled the need to share this joy with others. You know how busy life gets and how easy it is to survive on all sorts of fast food and unhealthy erratic diets. This is why you provide super convenient, yet delicious home cooked meals to your client. With a few taps, they are able to easily order food from your website and get it delivered to their doorstep. And in the future, they might even be able to order food from different vetted cooks in their area building a deeper sense of community, connected by good food.

With a clear picture of your brand, you are able to make decisions, hire staff, draw up plans, design packaging that speaks to and expresses your brand. You are positioned, aligned and primed to win.